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LESSONS:

Commercial Agriculture Development Project: Completion Report

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Nepal

Designing the project with mechanisms for communication and coordination between existing government institutions in project districts and project management structures can facilitate smooth project implementation and monitoring. This also ensures that sector offices will provide beneficiaries with follow-up services after project completion.

The timely design and execution of a results-based monitoring system is an important means of collecting and reporting project outputs and outcomes in a disaggregated way during project implementation, and carrying out an objective impact evaluation upon completion.

Enterprises operated by farmer groups, especially those composed of women, the poor, and disadvantaged people, should be provided with refresher skills training, access to finance, follow-up services, and ways to maintain market links to sustain operations and benefits. The provision of land lease financing serves as a good way to reach poor and landless families by helping them access productive resources and benefit from commercial agriculture.

Women and disadvantaged groups often do not have enough time to participate fully in project implementation and capacity development activities and thus benefit from the project. Designing the project to include targeted interventions such as intense mobilization, training, and the facilitation of access to finance, extension services, and inputs optimizes the possibility of visible improvements to their livelihoods.

The project may be able to secure the involvement of larger processors and traders by making large financial contributions to their business plans, as smaller contributions are not helpful.

Lessons from Validation

Nepal: Commercial Agriculture Development Project

The project completion report (PCR) drew out eight key lessons valuable to both the recipient and ADB. Clarity of purpose, objectives, and enhanced processes and procedures helped ensure the government’s commitment and focus to implement the project, and fostered effective coordination among the various public agencies, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and target beneficiaries involved. The willingness to deviate from the prescribed design and institute changes in implementation arrangements was necessary to put the project back on track. This validation suggests adding another lesson pertaining to the need for periodic review of investment ceilings, supply and buying contracts as well as the required membership fees. This would ascertain the risks and sustainability of the members’ commitment to the Commercial Agriculture Alliance (CAA). When funding permits, outsourcing of engineering services for infrastructure subprojects should also be considered.

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